‘Authoritarianism’ Is the Least of Our Problems

Happy 2024 Chronicles Readers, though according to The New York Times this is the year America turns into a dictatorship, assuming Trump becomes president again. Americans have never tolerated autocratic government, despite Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to jail anyone opposed to Uncle Sam entering his war. Now the Times tells us that The Donald’s use of “dehumanizing language toward rivals” signal another Adolf Hitler in the making.

The reason this writer is no Trump fan is his lack of dignified language and behavior, otherwise I agree with most things he’s for. But in claiming that Trump’s rhetoric is equivalent to that used by German and Italian authoritarians of the 1930s, it is the Times that is uttering the “big lie.” The reporters who wrote this rubbish, Michael C. Bender and Michael Gold, are of course only following in the noble tradition of propaganda for which the Times is known. The most notorious case was in 1932, when Walter Duranty picked up a Pulitzer while running cover for Uncle Joe Stalin by announcing there was no starvation or death in Ukraine. (Only five million kulaks, that’s all!)

Perhaps I’m not wise enough to understand the dangers of Trump’s “fascist rhetoric,” not like the leftist historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, who told the Times: “The overall Trump strategy is an obvious one of dehumanizing people so that the public will not have as much of an outcry at the things that you want to do.” I think Ruth’s overall strategy should be to first learn to speak in coherent sentences before engaging with reporters. 

Again, never mind. The lefty media has for years accused Trump of praising foreign dictators and disdaining democratic ideals. But in my humble opinion, Trump is the victim of persecution (and prosecution) by the deep state. New York Attorney General Letitia James has repeatedly called Trump an “illegitimate president” and has promised to “get him.” She also participated in a chant of “Lock him up,” hoping to haunt Trump with the catchphrase he used against Hillary in 2016. We are now in a situation of choosing which abuse of office is worse, the government’s or the Donald’s. It’s a sham spectacle, and typical of authoritarian states, but atypical of U.S. history, at least until recently.

Trump has four major trials coming up, and still he leads in the polls, so it’s no wonder the Times now calls him the second coming of Hitler. Unlike the Times reporters, however, I’ve actually lived under authoritarian regimes: under German occupation during World War II, and during the Greek military dictatorship from 1967 to 1974. I also visited Spain while Franco was in power, and Portugal under Salazar.

Despite the big lies written about them by the left, the Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese dictatorships were benevolent ones, though authoritarian where freedom of the media was concerned. Unless one was involved in politics, one would never have known that they were living under an authoritarian regime. All three European dictatorships ended peacefully and now enjoy democracy and peace.

So, however crude it may sound, I’m willing to bet that there are people in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago, and many other American cities who would not exactly be opposed to an authoritarian government in Washington—at least not since their houses and businesses burned in riots following the death of the career criminal George Floyd. 

Mind you, law and order authoritarianism ain’t gonna happen in America. Law and order are now dirty words, thanks to the media and Hollywood. Criminals are heroes, cops oppressors, and happy, law-abiding families just a thing that exists on sepia-tinged postcards. 

Alas, we’re in a situation in which some of the worst people on this earth get to determine what gets published or shown on television and in the movies. Add to that the Internet and social media and you get chaos. Throw in old Joe and inarticulate Kamala, The New York Times and The Washington Post, and you have a ruined country. Trump doesn’t seem all that bad compared to them. 

Needless to say, Trump is his own worse enemy where rhetoric is concerned. His hyperbole—saying recently, “I will have no choice but to imprison political opponents”—feeds the media’s need to cry that the fascists are coming. Because conservative politicians both here and in Europe are the only ones willing to resist uncontrolled immigration, they will already be labelled neo-fascists by the media.

There are now 50 million, yes, 50 million Americans who were born outside the United States, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. That’s 15 percent of America’s population of 330 million. Homelessness, crime, and drug use is also rampant. Smearing people who dare to connect these facts is the media’s most popular sport, so I’m not surprised they are calling Trump a fascist. ◆

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